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phaedrus ut

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Posts posted by phaedrus ut

  1. I don't come here often but it's funny how many names I recognize from there boards for 15 plus years of participating.  I feel like I know so many of you through your online persona. Please be safe this holiday season, be kind to yourself and others, and do enjoy the season in your own positive way.

    Happy Holidays,


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  2. 20 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    A couple of new videos. Not sure who put out the second, the first one I'm looking forward to listening to. I remember years ago a friend of my husband and I, told us about the show "Heart of the Matter, and I tuned into it for the next show. Shawn almost got me into another faith and got me hyped up with being more a "Jesus Lover" type person. While watching one of the shows, it's a call-in show, I heard our friend's voice ask Shawn a question on air, lol, I didn't tell him I knew. I think he wasn't happy with Shawn and what he was saying about the LDS church. So that's why I'm interested in hearing what Shawn says, Shawn has not come full circle and come back to the church, but he's less critical of the church now.

    The video interview with Shawn was both interesting and friendly.  It strikes me because Mormons have always been separate from the broader ecumenical Christian community and we don't tend to see these types of positive interactions. 


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  3. 20 hours ago, teddyaware said:

    Does Kwaku’s response, “My 2nd trip to LA in one week. When you write/film a new show taking down the CES Letter you gotta do it right. Can’t wait for you guys to see it 💛” seem like he’s mad at Robert?


    You seem to be missing a basic understanding how of Twitter works. In the example above Kwaku tweeted first and then Robert Quote Tweeted(a type of reply) with the N word. 


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  4. 11 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

    I posted on the Fair Dinkum's post about faith crisis. 

    I'm not here too often these days and I missed the conversation inside the previous post. When I saw the videos originally I thought of this place because many many years ago this was the FairBoard and I think there are still many people connected to the organization who participate here. 



  5. YouTube recommended some new Fair Mormon videos to me over the weekend and they seem to be a new TikTok/meme driven style of apologetics.  The first batch of 10 videos posted in the past few days feature Kwaku El, famous from his COVID spreading parties. The videos are a parody newscast suggestively named This Is The Show where they are tackling the claims of the CES Letter by making fun of it.  

    Is this the new style of apologetics we can expect from FAIR? 



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  6. I really have a hard time taking these arguments serious anymore. Book of Abraham apologetics is on par with flat earthers and other non-sense pseudoscience. I've had private conversations with many of the apologists brought up here in defense of the book and they will privately admit, with varying degrees of specificity, that it's fake.  I can only imagine the amount of cringe they feel reading discussions like these.  Go back and read the defenses of the BoA that they are writing and you'll see that they often use unspecific language that gives the mental escape clauses to keep them from outright lying.  

    The church has been distancing themselves from the claims about the text for a while. The writing has been on the wall for years and the Gospel Topic essay on the BoA has plenty of clues where this is headed. 


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  7. On 10/30/2019 at 5:57 PM, Steve Thompson said:

    An important sentence from the article:

    So while the Egyptian word for the sun itself is not the same as in the Book of Abraham,17 one of the Egyptian words for the sun’s ecliptic (the path of the sun through the sky) as attested in Abraham’s day is.

    Apparently close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and LDS apologetics.

    Is this the same Stephen Thompson that has a Ph.D. in Egyptology from a Ivy League university? 

  8. 10 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

    Call me a rube, but I fail to see how this makes your argument stronger. Italics are the most common change...but even in your best case scenario that still leaves 62% to other causes. This does not give me confidence that Joseph Smith was targeting italics for his revision. Furthermore, since we've clearly established that Joseph Smith had no problem altering non-disputed biblical text, what special appeal would italicized portions have? 

    I think we are in agreement here.  The BOM most often reproduces the KJV text exact word for word when quoting the Old and New Testament  When the italicized words were added to the KJV text more often than not the BOM includes this, when the KJV translators made an error those errors are reproduced in the BOM.  However a certain period Joseph chose not to reproduce the KJV text exactly.  We can't read his mind to understand all the reasons why he made these changes but they most commonly happen where the KJV translators added their italicized text. This shows the BOM is heavily dependent on the KJV bible common in 19th century America and not translating a more ancient source. 

    10 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

    I'd be remiss if I didn't note that you are here dismissing all the firsthand witnesses in favor of revisionist theory. You've thrown out the magical thinking, and also the historical thinking as well. 

    Regarding your statement ex cathedra on the relative merits of Restoration scripture...in the eye of the beholder. 

    Dismissing the witnesses is a matter of trusting their statements.  If you conclude that the KJV was used in the production of the BOM they you know the witness statements are intentionally or unintentionally inaccurate.  

    A similar comparison could be made about glass looking.  Joseph sold his services to find hidden treasure with his peep stone.  If you hold the view that it's scientifically impossible for someone to use a rock to discover buried treasure Joseph's statements on the matter are irrelevant.  Did he sell his services because he was conning people out of their money or was he deluded to believe he had the magic ability? We can't know.  The same would be true of the statements of his customers about why he couldn't find the treasure. Did they believe him or were they in on the con? We also can't know. 

    In either case we can deal with provable facts that the KJV is in the BOM and magic rocks don't find treasure.  There are non-supernatural explanations for these facts. The bible was used to produce the BOM and rocks are just rocks. If you want to come up with a supernatural explanation for either the possibilities are endless.  Unfortunately since supernatural explanations are untestable they are indistinguishable from someone just making things up. Or as you say the explanation is in "the eye of the beholder".



  9. 1 hour ago, champatsch said:

     less than 1/4 of the changes have to do with italics.

    And that's just spin.  Even with the apologetic spin putting the italics being responsible for something just short of 25% of the changes it's still the most common textual variant and considering that italicized words account for 3-4% of the KJV we are looking at clear textual dependence.  When Skousen last published on the subject I believe were looking at ~400 BOM passages with italics in the KJV and 150 alterations so 38%.  Whether it's 1/4 or 3/8ths of the text the relationship between the two is ovious.


    1 hour ago, champatsch said:

    Your position ultimately comes down to this. Joseph deceived people

    That's really the only evidence we have.  It's clear that the BOM is dependent on the KJV.  The italics are only 1 of a dozen glaring points showing the BOM is the secondary text and not a translation of older versions of the biblical books.  You can construct an amazing Rube Goldberg machine of apologetic speculations that explain the problems or choose the simple answer.  Clearly there are some holdouts on final hills of Mormon apologetics such as the explanation for the KJV in the BOM and the BOA translation being somehow accurate.  

    Here is my simple explanation. There are no magic rocks, golden plates, angelic messengers, or lost civilizations.  Now we have thrown out the magical thinking it's easy to put a KJV bible in the room and declare the witnesses as unreliable.  On this basis the BOM, the BOA, the D&C are the product of the same process and that's why they are generally unremarkable, riddled with errors, and a great example of 19th century religious speculation.  


  10. On 10/22/2019 at 5:22 PM, champatsch said:

    There are big holes in this position, which I doubt is based on systematic, thorough analysis of all King James quoting in the Book of Mormon. More than 3/4 of the changes aren't related to italics.

    You doubt it's based on a systematic thorough analysis? That's a awful confident declaration there champatsch.  I'll give you two very easy examples from a friendly sources at FARMS/BYU Religious Studies Center that prove my point.  John A. Tvedtnes, “Isaiah Variants in the Book of Mormon,”  and Textual Variants in the Isaiah Quotations in the Book of Mormon By Royal Skousen. Both provide an analysis of just the the Isaiah chapters of the BOM compared to the KJV but the point holds for the broader analysis.  Skousen and Tvedtnes differ somewhat in their percentages that italics explain Isaiah variants but we are dealing with a low number of 29% and a high number of 38%.  Those are the statistics from apologetic sources. Critical sources put the number much higher. 


    On 10/22/2019 at 5:22 PM, champatsch said:

    You don't know that Joseph knew what italics indicated in 1829. He probably knew a few years later.

    Italicized words make up 3.6% of the KJV Isaiah but in reproducing the Isaiah chapters in the BOM Joseph clustered approximately half of the variants around these italics. He removed 40% of the italicized words, then he replaced some words, added others, and made changes in and around the italics to create even more dependent variants.  Denying Joseph's knowledge of the italics can't be defended by the textual evidence.  It's demonstrability the most common of the BOM/KJV.  It's like claiming Joseph Smith drove a car 1000 miles and along the way there were 36 stop signs and he stopped at half of them and changed course to drive around 4 of them.  Yet you claim he doesn't know what a stop sign is. The evidence is pretty damning. 

    Now let us leave the data provided by the text and see what other evidence there is.  Well we have a contemporary source demonstrating his knowledge of what the italics mean.  


    "Finally, after frequent and fervent prayer, Jo's spectacles were restored to sight, and he again permitted to open the book. -- Jo had, during his spiritual blindness, by the assistance of some one, commited several chapters of the New Testament to memory; and, the better to carry on his deception with the deluded Harris, had inquired, and found out the words inserted by the translators; (which are distinguished by Italics, both in the New Testament and the Old.) So, in order to convince Harris that he could read from the plates, Jo deposits them in his hat, applies spectacles, and refers Harris to a chapter in the Bible which he had learned by rote; and which he read from the plates, with surprising accuracy; and what astonished Harris most, was, that Jo should omit all the words in the Bible that were printed in Italic. And, if Harris attempted to correct Jo, he persisted that the plates were right, and the Bible was wrong." "Mormonites" in The Sun, Philadelphia, Thursday, August 18, 1831

    and again from a friendly source. Robert J. Matthews discusses the bible Joseph used in creating his "New Translation" of the bible. 


    Throughout the Bible many italics are crossed out, even when it does violence to the sense. There seems to be little consistency in the cross-outs of italics. Many are not touched; others are crossed out and replaced by words in the manuscripts, and many are not replaced. ... It is possible that the cross-out of italics was a preliminary step done before the other markings in the Bible, perhaps by a different person, and/or at a different time than the other markings, even when more than one kind now appear in the same verse "
    - Robert J. Matthews, A Plainer Translation": Joseph Smith's Translation of the Bible: A History and Commentary (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975)

    And to show that this was common knowledge among the people of the time we have this from W. W. Phelps writing in The Evening and Morning Star



    "The book of Mormon, as a revelation from God, possesses some advantage over the old scripture: it has not been tinctured by the wisdom of man, with here and there an Italic word to supply deficiencies.—It was translated by the gift and power of God." (The Evening and Morning Star Jan. 1833)

    "As to the errors in the bible, any man possessed of common understanding, knows, that both the old and new testaments are filled with errors, obscurities, italics and contradictions, which must be the work of men. ... the church of Christ will soon have the scriptures, in their original purity." (The Evening and Morning Star July. 1833)


    You'll see in the quote above Phelps considers knowledge about italics in the bible a "common understanding" of men at that time. 

    OK and we will wrap this up with a little comment on textual criticism when it comes to biblical scholarship. When a text is of a secondary nature it is dependent on a source text.  When we look at the variants in the BOM to quoted KJV texts you see that there are many more addition variants(pluses) than there are removal variants(minuses).  The fuller text shows dependence on the original source text.  




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  11. Various scribes worked with Joseph Smith in the preparation of the Book of Mormon over a period of 21 months in various locations. Multiple locations and multiple scribes doesn't make using different versions of the KJV seem like too great a leap. Even though witnesses say no bible was used in the process the textual evidence is too believe convincing otherwise. 

    It's also important to note that most KJV variants in the BOM are near italicized words.  In the KJV words which appear in italics were added to make the English translation more readable. Joseph clearly knew what the italics meant and used it as an opportunity for textual changes. 



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  12. This statistic comes from the Trevor Project national survey of LGBTQ youth. With over 34,000 respondents, it is the largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health ever conducted. The number increases to 57% for transgender and nonbinary youth who have  undergone conversion therapy.  




    //I started a new thread because for the first time in 15 years I've been locked out of a topic.  Please see my post history to confirm for my flagrant rule breaking. 



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  13. Once again the church is taking a defensive position defending antiquated and hurtful religious practices.  It's action like this that are accelerating the exodus from the church.  The real problem for me is the moral issue of causing harm to gay members of the church including a increase in youth suicide.  

    My conscience won't allow me to remain silent on this issue.  


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  14. I never noticed this thread when it first came through but I recently finished the book and shortly there after traveled through southern Idaho and saw Bucks Peak and Stokes Market.  One observation I would like to make is that about Tara Westover's relationship with the church. It seemed important to her that any negative details about her upbringing shouldn't be a reflection of the Mormon church.  

    I've known quite a few Mormons who, like the author, gained noteworthy academic credentials and for most of them that also meant moving on from Mormonism.  Like Tara they are almost protective of the church and avoid criticism among outsiders. Among other former Mormons they feel free to criticize but otherwise treat their former religion with kid gloves.  


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  15. Oaks comments are hopelessly ill informed to the point it's intentionally ignoring science.  If you look at the statistics for just medically intersex, not specifically just transgender, they look like this. 

    Not XX and not XY one in 1,666 births

    Klinefelter (XXY)one in 1,000 births

    Androgen insensitivity syndrome one in 13,000 births

    Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome one in 130,000 births

    Classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia one in 13,000 births

    Late onset adrenal hyperplasia one in 66 individuals

    Vaginal agenesisone in 6,000 births

    Ovotestesone in 83,000 births

    Idiopathic (no discernable medical cause)one in 110,000 births

    Iatrogenic (caused by medical treatment, for instance progestin administered to pregnant mother)no estimate

    5 alpha reductase deficiencyno estimate

    Mixed gonadal dysgenesisno estimate

    Complete gonadal dysgenesis one in 150,000 births

    Hypospadias (urethral opening in perineum or along penile shaft)one in 2,000 births

    Hypospadias (urethral opening between corona and tip of glans penis)one in 770 births

    Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female one in 100 births

    Total number of people receiving surgery to “normalize” genital appearance one or two in 1,000 births


    With this we have the statistic that we often see the estimate of 1.7% of the population.  That is an estimated 128 million people globally.  That means the worldwide intersex population is 8 times larger than the membership in the LDS Church.  


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